Officials made staff buy books they wrote

PUBLISHED : Friday, 14 January, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 14 January, 2011, 12:00am

Corrupt mainland officials had not only made money by writing books, but many had used public funds to publish them and their power to pressure subordinates in departments and related enterprises into buying them, according to the Legal Daily.

Li Dalun , former Communist Party secretary of Chenzhou, Hunan , had earned at least 30 million yuan (HK$35.51 million) by writing and publishing two literary books during his official term from 1999 to 2006, the Beijing-based daily said.

Dubbed 'the most corrupt disciplinary secretary in China', Li was sentenced to death in late 2008 by the Changsha Intermediate People's Court for taking bribes valued at more than 31 million yuan and failing to account for 9 million yuan.

Another case was Zhang Jingli, former deputy chief of the State Food and Drug Administration, who had written at five books about drugs and health in the past decade, with copies selling for about 566 yuan each, the newspaper said.

Zhang was found to be involved in 17 million yuan of illegal business dealings by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, the party's top anti-graft watchdog.

Zhang was arrested last year, and his case was referred to the Justice Department for suspected 'serious violation of law and discipline', making him the first disgraced high-ranking official in the administration since Zheng Xiaoyu , former State Food and Drug Administration director, who was executed in 2007.

But Li and Zhang's cases were the tip of the iceberg. The newspaper said increasing numbers of local officials, such as publicity heads in Chengdu of Sichuan province and Linfen of Shanxi province, had been found to make money by forcing subordinates to buy their books.

There were other channels to collect money, the newspaper said. Former China Development Bank vice-president Wang Yi claimed to be a music producer and pressured people to buy tickets for a concert featuring a symphony that he had supposedly composed.

It was produced by professional musicians, who shared the money with him.